The May 7, 2004 “How to Develop a Successful Grant Proposal” Workshop was a big hit. The second workshop of the year brought together individuals from 32 Chicagoland nonprofit organizations.

The participants represented service organizations from major Chicago hospitals, to women’s shelters, free clinics, school based health centers, mental health agencies, and service organizations targeted towards the elderly, and children, among others.

Once again, the workshop was held in the UIC School of Public Health’s Washington Square Health Foundation Multimedia Community Conference Center where we were able to utilize the high-tech facility to reach out to a broader audience of potential future grantees.

Executive Director Howard Nochumson explains the meaning of “Outcome Objectives” necessary in all proposals funded by Washington Square Health Foundation.
Mary’s group looks on as a workshop participant shares her proposal ideas for guidance by both her peers and our consultant.

The majority of participants were from agencies that had never received grants from Washington Square Health Foundation. Other organizations had received grants in years past, though not recently.

The morning began with “Welcoming Remarks” from the Foundation’s Grant Committee Chairman, William N. Werner, MD, MPH. Dr. Werner shared the history of the Foundation and imparted on the attendees the ideology of giving that inspires the Board of Directors to make so many Chicagoland grants possible.

An overview of key aspects that the Foundation requires to fund a grant was presented by Executive Director Howard Nochumson, including which areas the Foundation funds, and which ones it does not fund. Program Assistant Katy Tyrrell concluded the large group presentations by discussing the administrative aspects that are so often overlooked once a proposal is ready to be submitted. During the second half of the workshop, the participants were divided into three groups led by our two consultants, Mary Driscoll, RN, MPH, and Kathleen Pietschmann, RN, ND, CS, and Executive Director Howard Nochumson.

Participants brought in one-page descriptions of their proposal ideas for discussion and idea sharing. In some cases collaborative projects were born out of this unique networking opportunity. In most cases, individuals learned whether or not their specific project was a fundable grant, and if not, what might be fundable, or what aspect could be changed in order to make it fundable.

With the guidance of the group leaders, general questions about grant writing were answered as well as a more specific explanation on the unique and integral aspects of a “successful” grant proposal to Washington Square Health Foundation. It was an exciting and valuable day for all involved.